Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Study of Scarlet

I recently found the 2010 BBC series Sherlock and was captivated. Mysteries! Explosions! Literary references!

Oh, right, I hadn't read the books. Should probably remedy that.

And that is how I found, which has all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, including year of release, for free.

Reading A Study In Scarlet was fascinating. I am accustomed, with classic works, to having to slip into a peculiar mindset where the odd paragraph breaks and turns of speech don't make me want to claw my own eyes out (when I do manage it, I tend to really enjoy them, but it took me three tries to get past the first chapter of Jane Eyre, and then I read it all in one fell swoop). But Sir Doyle wrote late enough in the nineteenth century that a lot of the literary customs that drive me up the wall had passed out of style, so there were no stylistic barriers between me and his fantastic storytelling.

The abrupt shift in the middle to telling a completely different story confused me at first, but amused me when reframed as the sepia-toned recreations common on crime-solving shows. His opinions of the geography of the central US aside, it was a fantastic read, and I am going to continue to enjoy the originals as I wait for season two of BBC's Sherlock.

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